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Magic in Names

Magic in Names

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Published by Dawne_Berry
Table of Contents
1) Magic & Religion
2) Mana in Tangible Things
--Mana in Blood
-- " in Hair & Teeth
-- " in Saliva
-- " in Portrait
3) Mana in Intangible Things
--Mana in Shadows
-- " Reflections & Echoes
-- " Personal Names
-- " Names of Relatives
-- " Birth & Baptismal Names
-- " Initiation Names
-- " Euphemisms
-- " Names of Kings & Priests
-- " Names of the Dead
-- " Names of Gods
4) Mana in Words
--Creative Words
--Mantrams
--Passwords
--Curses
--Spells & Amulets
--Cure Charms
5) The Name & the Soul
Table of Contents
1) Magic & Religion
2) Mana in Tangible Things
--Mana in Blood
-- " in Hair & Teeth
-- " in Saliva
-- " in Portrait
3) Mana in Intangible Things
--Mana in Shadows
-- " Reflections & Echoes
-- " Personal Names
-- " Names of Relatives
-- " Birth & Baptismal Names
-- " Initiation Names
-- " Euphemisms
-- " Names of Kings & Priests
-- " Names of the Dead
-- " Names of Gods
4) Mana in Words
--Creative Words
--Mantrams
--Passwords
--Curses
--Spells & Amulets
--Cure Charms
5) The Name & the Soul

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Published by: Dawne_Berry on Aug 14, 2008
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07/16/2014

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Jews the taboo had great force, for they were

forbidden to have leaven in their houses during

the Passover, and they abstained from even using

the word. Being forbidden swine's flesh, they

avoid the word pig altogether, and call that

animal dabchar acheer, 'the other thing.' In

Canton the porpoise or river-pig is looked upon

as a creature of ill-omen, and on that account

its name is tabooed." ^

The Swedes fear to tread on a toad, because it

may be an enchanted princess. The fox is called
"

blue-foot," or "

he that goes in the forest "

;

among the Esthonians he is "

grey-coat "

; and

in Mecklenberg, for twelve days after Christmas,

he goes by the name "

long tail." In Sweden

the seal is "

brother Lars," and throughout

Scandinavia the superstitions about wolves are

numerous. In some districts during a portion

of the spring the peasants dare not call that

animal by his usual name, Varg, lest he carry off

the cattle, so they substitute the names, Ulf,

Grahans, or "

gold foot," because in olden days,

when dumb creatures spoke, the wolf said—

"

If thou called me Varg, I will be wroth with thee,

But if thou callest me of gold, I will be kind to thee."

The fishermen of the West Coast of Ireland

never talk of rats as such, but use the name

"

old iron." They beUeve that rats understand

1

Folk-lore Record, Vol. IV. p. 77.

MANA IN INTANGIBLE THINGS 93

human speech and will take revenge if called by

their names. The Claddogh folk of Galway

would not go to fish if they saw a fox, and the

name is as unlucky as the thing. Livonian

fishermen (and the same superstition is prevalent

from Ireland to Italy) fear to endanger the

success of their nets by calling certain animals,

as the hare, pig, dog, and so forth, by their

common names ;

while the Esthonians fear to

mention the hare lest their crops of flax should

fail. The salmon is unlucky with the Moray

Firth fishermen and the older men will not

mention it, they call it the "

beastie." With it

clergymen, cats and swine rank as harbingers of

ill fortune—clergymen being especially bad luck-

bringers if they are in the market when the fish

is being sold. There is a Jonah touch about this.

At sea it is unlucky, as stated by Miss Cameron,

to mention minister, salmon, hare, rabbit, rat,

pig, and porpoise. It is also extremely unlucky

to mention the names of certain old women, and

some clumsy roundabout nomenclature results,

such as "

Her that lives up the stair opposite the

pump," etc. But on the Fifcshire coast the pig

is par excellence the unlucky being. "

Soo's

tail to ye ! "

is the common taunt of the (non-

fishing) small boy on the pier to the outgoing

fisher in his boat. (Compare the mocking "

Soo's

tail to Geordie I "

of the Jacobite political song.)

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